NYSACDL is one of only two state-wide criminal justice organizations with a full-time lobbyist (the other is NYSDA). As a result, NYSACDL’s position on proposed and pending legislation is actively sought out and is being heard by legislators very early in the process. While the Legislature is out of session, Committee members review proposed legislation to determine whether to take a position and if so, craft a Legislative Memo setting forth that position. We regularly liaise with criminal defense organizations about positions on pending legislation. Anyone who is aware of legislation or an issue upon which you believe NYSACDL should take a position may contact Legislative Committee Chair Andrew Kossover.
The New York State Assembly website may be accessed at http://assembly.state.ny.us
Important News Regarding NYSID Sheets and Rockefeller Sealing Procedures
Members of the NYSACDL Legislative Committee recently met with officials of the Division of Criminal Justice Services which is the agency that generates NYSID sheets in New York State. One issue we brought up was that there are many inaccurate entries on NYSID sheets. Our position is that incomplete entries should be eliminated after a period of time. One point that they made was that many times, plea bargains are accepted in one court that are meant to cover other cases in another court. In their experience, oftentimes the information on the covered case is not sent to Albany, which is one reason the case remains open on the rap sheet. DCJS officials recommended that attorneys check with the clerk in the second court to make sure they received the information from the first court and that they are following through on their records. We are passing on that information to you. Please feel free to contact me, as chair of the Legislative Committee if you have any comments or experience on this issue. Another issue brought to our attention was the fact that very few sealing applications have been made under the Rockefeller Drug Law reform. We want to remind our members that the sealing provisions are available for anyone who has completed drug treatment and they are retroactive, so that you can move to seal a record for a client who completed treatment long ago. Those clients can have up to two misdemeanor cases sealed as well. For anyone who is contemplating a sealing motion, the NYSACDL expert on this issue is board member Alan Rosenthal. He can be reached at (315) 422-5638. He is always willing to pass on his knowledge to members who call.
NYSACDL Legislative Committee (2009)